RFC 1464 (rfc1464) - Page 1 of 4

Using the Domain Name System To Store Arbitrary String Attributes

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Network Working Group                                       R. Rosenbaum
Request for Comments: 1464                 Digital Equipment Corporation
                                                                May 1993

                     Using the Domain Name System
                  To Store Arbitrary String Attributes

Status of this Memo

   This memo defines an Experimental Protocol for the Internet
   community.  Discussion and suggestions for improvement are requested.
   Please refer to the current edition of the "IAB Official Protocol
   Standards" for the standardization state and status of this protocol.
   Distribution of this memo is unlimited.


   While the Domain Name System (DNS) [2,3] is generally used to store
   predefined types of information (e.g., addresses of hosts), it is
   possible to use it to store information that has not been previously

   This paper describes a simple means to associate arbitrary string
   information (ASCII text) with attributes that have not been defined
   by the DNS.  It uses DNS TXT resource records to store the
   information.  It requires no change to current DNS implementations.

1.  Introduction

   The Domain Name System is designed to store information that has both
   a predefined type and structure.  Examples include IP addresses of
   hosts and names of mail exchangers.  It would be useful to take
   advantage of the widespread use and scaleability of the DNS to store
   information that has not been previously defined.

   This paper proposes the use of the DNS TXT resource record (defined
   in STD 13, RFC 1035) to contain new types of information.  The
   principal advantage of such an approach is that it requires no change
   to most existing DNS servers.  It is not intended to replace the
   process by which new resource records are defined and implemented.

2.  Format of TXT record

   To store new types of information, the TXT record uses a structured
   format in its TXT-DATA field.  The format consists of the attribute
   name followed by the value of the attribute.  The name and value are
   separated by an equals sign (=).


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